Rare giant squid beached in Australia

Here is a slideshow of all known living Architeuthis (giant squid) photographs.

From Reuters:

Rare giant squid washed up in Australia

Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:10AM EDT

CANBERRA – One of the largest giant squid ever found has washed up on a remote Australian beach, sparking a race against time by scientists to examine the rarely seen deep-ocean creature.

The squid, the mantle or main body of which measured two-meters (6.5 feet) long, was found by a walker late on Tuesday on Ocean Beach, near Strahan, on the western coast of island state Tasmania.

“It’s a whopper,” Tasmanian Museum senior curator Genefor Walker-Smith told local media on Wednesday. “The main mantle is about one meter across and its total length is about eight meters.”

Scientists would take samples from the creature, identified by state parks officials as an Architeuthis, which can grow to more than 10 meters (33 feet) in length and weigh more than 275 kilograms (606 pounds). The Tasmanian animal was 250 kg, Pemberton said.

The tentacles had been badly damaged, so the overall length of the animal could not be determined, a Tasmania Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman said. Park rangers had moved the remains from the water.

Giant squid, once believed to be mythical despite occasional sightings by mariners, feed on fish and other squid. Last year, fishermen off the Falkland Islands caught a complete animal measuring 8.62 meters.

Scientists believe giant squid usually live at ocean depths of between 200-700 meters (660-2,300 ft), relying in part on volleyball-sized eyes, the largest in the animal kingdom.

Scientists said giant squid gathered along Australia’s continental shelf in cold mid-winter waters to feed on Grenadier fish. The squid were in turn hunted by sperm whales migrating north from the Southern Ocean.

Japanese ocean researchers captured the first ever pictures of a live giant squid in September 2004 off Japan’s Ogasawara Islands at a depth of 900 meters.

See also here.

And here.

And photo here.

6 thoughts on “Rare giant squid beached in Australia

  1. Fishermen net rare giant squid
    Female specimen first to be found intact

    (ANSA) – Florence, August 23 – For the first time a giant squid has been caught intact in Italian waters and researchers hope it will help them learn more about this rare architeuthis.

    The giant squids found so far in the Mediterranean have all been in a decomposed state after washing up on beaches.

    This squid is one and a half meters long and weighs almost 18 kilos. It was netted by fishermen off the island of Elba in what experts said were unusual circumstances.

    “Squids travel close to the surface, so it is quite unusual that it was brought up in a deep sea net,” explained Dr. Paolo Sartor of Livorno’s Marine Biology Lab which is examining the large mollusk.

    “This specimen is in excellent condition and it will be able to tell us a lot about the species,” Sartor added.

    Researchers believe the squid, a female, was laying its eggs when it was caught.

    Although the giant squid is not common to the Mediterranean, researchers do not believe that its appearance is related to a rise in water temperatures caused by global warming.

    Earlier this week Italy’s Central Institute for Marine Scientific Research and Applied Technology (ICRAM) reported that higher sea temperatures were attracting non-indigenous species to the Mediterranean. The warming of the waters has also led to the spread of fish which previously lived in more southern reaches of the sea.

    “We have seen an influx of thermophilic or warm-water species in more northern Italian waters which are now also easy to find in fish markets. Among these is the Mediterranean barracuda, also known as the sea pike, which can weigh as much as two kilos,” observed ICRAM research chief Franco Andaloro.

    A new migratant into the Mediterranean is the Shpyrena flavicauda barracuda which arrived from the Red Sea. “However, it is still quite rare here”, Andaloro said.

    “Two fish which were once rare in Italian waters but are now abundant are two members of the amberjack family, the Caranx crysos and the Caranx rhoncus,” the researcher added.

    Others appearing in Italian fish markets include the so-called parrot fish, the flying fish and two large mullet varieties from the Red Sea.

    Aside from these edible fish, Andaloro warned, a host of dangerous ones have also come to the Mediterranean. These include three types of poisonous blowfish, two from the Atlantic and one from the Red Sea.


  2. Giant surprise leads to educational gift on South Coast

    Published: Jun 2, 2008 at 6:53 PM PDT
    By Tim Novotny
    CHARLESTON – It was an unexpected two-for-one deal for some fishermen around Port Orford on Friday.

    Turns out the fishermen and a Giant Squid, about 7-to-8 feet long, were battling over the same Cod and the Squid refused to let go.

    The fishermen turned the squid over to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in Charleston who, in turn, handed over the remains to the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology.

    Professor Nora Terwilliger says this was a rare occurrence, and one that provided a timely lesson for students at OIMB who were just studying a smaller squid.

    She says the Giant Squid is a picture of grace underwater, using it’s length and surprising speed to nab their prey.

    She says this squid will likely be frozen to save it for Summer session classes, but it could eventually end up in their display center at a later time.



  3. Pingback: Giant squid on film, first time | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Giant squid in Japanese fishing net | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Swordfish victims of overfishing | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Giant squid on film, first time | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.